Travellers urged to re-book Christmas season flights quickly after Air NZ cancellations

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The airline has cancelled 82 international flights over the Christmas period. Source: 1 NEWS

A top travel agent is urging Kiwi travellers to reshuffle their flights quickly after Air New Zealand cancelled dozens of flights over the Christmas, New Year period. 

Air New Zealand has today announced "unavoidable" flight cancellations due to checks on its Boeing Dreamliner engines, subsequently affecting 14,000 customers.

The airline has cut 82 international flights over the Christmas period, the biggest being the cancellation of 62 flights to its twice-weekly seasonal Christchurch-Perth service.

Brent Thomas, Director of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand says travellers need to “get in now” to reshuffle their travel arrangements.

“Most people will be attended to but they will need flexibility around when they can travel - the key thing is. they need to get in now and speak to their travel agents quickly as possible,” he told 1 NEWS.

“It's not just the flights, they're going to have accommodation, car rentals, getting to another flight, so there's a whole myriad of things that are going to on,” he says.

A number of flights connecting Auckland with Perth, Sydney and Tonga are also affected.

Air New Zealand has been facing problems with the Rolls Royce engines in its Dreamliners since 2017.

The problem is with high pressure turbine blades, affecting airlines worldwide.

All the engines need to be inspected at a Rolls Royce workshop in Singapore.

Air New Zealand says it will start reshuffling this week and will contact passengers affected.